Novak Djokovic doubles up to lift Serbia to ATP Cup quarterfinals

With Pat Rafter Arena full of flag wingers and singing Serbs, the atmosphere for the decisive encounter in doubles was like in a compact football stadium. Djokovic and Viktor Troicki clinched the 2-1 tie victory in a deciding doubles match against France's Nicolas Mahut/Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-7 (5) 10-3.

"This moron and his group of thug mates dressed in black turned up, sat in eye view of Nole and blatantly stood up and cheered and sniggered at Serbia's errors".

"We love playing for our country", Djokovic said in an on-court TV interview before sending a message in his native tongue to Serbia, where Christmas was being celebrated on January 7.

"I played a very solid match, my serve worked better than the first day". He is a great fighter and a great friend of mine, so I wish him all the best.

The 2-1 result ensured Serbia will finish as Group A winners and become the second team to qualify for the quarter-finals after Australia booked their place as Group F winners on Sunday.

But Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley said he did not see this as likely.

Weeks after leading Spain to the Davis Cup title, the traditional men's team event, Nadal is doing his best to do it again at the the ATP Cup, the newest of the worldwide team competitions.

Spain improved to 2-0 in Perth as Rafael Nadal breezed in a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Pablo Cuevas to pace a 3-0 win over Uruguay.

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Spain and Japan have both won their opening two matches and they know victory in Perth will mean they guarantee qualification for the final eight on Thursday in Sydney.

"It was a positive victory. It was a very positive victory against an opponent for who I have a lot of respect", said 19-time Grand Slam victor Nadal. "But if it comes down to. those conditions affecting the health of players, I think we should definitely consider it".

"From my side we will do things to try to raise money for this awful I am here to help in any way that is possible and I'm sure we will be able to, together with the rest of the players, help to raise important money for this disaster", Nadal said.

In the duel of numbers one, the Balearic was unattainable for Cuevas, 45th in the world rankings, and was imposed by 6-2 and 6-1 After an hour and 13 minutes of play.

Djokovic defeated Gayle Monfils 6-3, 6-2 within the males's singles match.

In the early tie, former world number five Kevin Anderson showed he was on his way back after an injury-ruined 2019 when he thrashed Chile's Cristian Garin 6-0, 6-3. In the second round, Keys meets local favorite Samantha Stosur.

They said play would not have been possible in the Australian capital which has been choked by smoke, with the tournament now due to start Monday at Bendigo in Victoria state. The South African doubles combination made it a 3-0 sweep.

World number four Dominic Thiem did not have a great start to his preparation for the year's first Grand Slam in two weeks' time as he fell 7-6 (4) 2-6 6-3 to Borna Coric of Croatia. "Some of it is out of our hands as well, already having, well, taking the loss against Serbia".

  • Lawrence Cooper